A lesbian lawyer has become the first openly gay person to be nominated for Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court.
Maite Oronoz Rodriguez, who currently serves as legal director for city San Juan, is in a long-term relationship with partner Mendez Miro.
The governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, announced her nomination earlier this week.
Paying tribute to her partner, Rodriguez told El Nuevo Dia: “Thank you for your unconditional support through the hardest of times, and through the best of times, like today… I wouldn’t be here without you.
“I am conscious of the enormous responsibility that has come to me.”
Miro added: “The governor has exercised his constitutional knowledge, and named someone who he understands is the best candidate. And I agree with him.”
Pedro Julio Serrano, the president of LGBT charity Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, told the Washington Blade: “I congratulate, thank and celebrate Maite and Gina for living openly their love, for loving their homeland so much and for loving themselves openly.
“Today is a glorious day for equality.
“I said last year when four laws in support of the LGBTQ community were approved: There is no going back.
“Today we take a historic step in the right direction that demonstrates that Puerto Rico is for all of us. The governor has made an excellent nomination.”
Joining the line of people paying tribute to Rodriguez, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz wrote: “Today is a great day for equality.”
Hoy es un gran día para la equidad! @SJUCiudadPatria
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) June 4, 2014
Confirmation hearings are set to take place from next week, with the Puerto Rico Senate expected to approve the historic nomination.
Puerto Rico – which is an unincorporated territory of the United States – has made significant progress in the last year on LGBT equality, approving anti-discrimination laws and moving towards same-sex adoption.